PLANS for a new 120-bed hotel complex in Ellesmere Port have been given the thumbs-up.
Cheshire West and Chester councillors unanimously granted outline planning permission for what will be part of a large-scale redevelopment in the urban Rossmore area.
Plans for the land off Jacks Wood Avenue and Rossmore Road East, which were approved last Thursday, include a hotel, offices and restaurants.
The site is opposite the former Gas Board land, where there is outline planning permission for 280 homes and a business scheme, and also land to the south of the Technology Park on Inward Way, where 500 homes are being built.
David Thompson, from landowner Peel Investment North, told strategic planning councillors it was a good scheme for a prime location in the heart of the Rossmore area.
The 120-bed hotel will be five storeys high and plans include a pub or restaurant, a crèche, offices which could be used for possible community health use or a fitness suite, a petrol filling station and a drive-through cafe or restaurant.
The scheme proposed 278 parking spaces which included 25 disabled spaces and 50 cycle spaces.
Planning officers recommended approval of the scheme and a report before councillors stated: “It is recognised that the site has been marketed unsuccessfully for several years.
“Given these circumstances, it is considered that it would be difficult to justify a refusal of the application on the grounds of loss of employment land.”
Cllr Alan McKie agreed and, pointing to numerous job opportunities, he said: “I know we talk about industrial but industrial nowadays with technology is probably fewer employees than this particular development.
“Even though it is outline it will actually give us a hotel, those restaurants, [a] crèche. So I just feel it’s one of those things we have got to support.”
Cllr Jill Houlbrook said: “I think it will enhance an area which has been left as scrub land for quite some time and it is nice to see, even though we can’t get what was originally planned for there, something actually developed on this area and get the area moving again, and increase employment.”
Cllr Angela Claydon backed the plans but said she was concerned about the future design of the hotel.
She said: “I know that this is only outline but I think what the real issue will be is what the hotel – as it is to be five storeys high – will look like. You will be able to see it from the motorway. We do need it to have a really good visual appeal.”